In the face of scramble for acquiring assets in natural resources like oil, coal and mines by large multi-nationals, the government is working on a policy enabling PSUs to step up search for key raw material assets, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.
"In some sectors, there is also a need for our public sector enterprises to explore global opportunities. In particular, we need to step up our search for raw material assets. The government is working on a policy to support our public sector enterprises in this effort," he said, giving away awards to top performing PSUs.
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the award function organised by the Standing Conference on Public Enterprises (SCOPE), Secretary in the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) Bhaskar Chatterjee said, the policy is expected to go to the Cabinet in the next two weeks.
"We have received comments from oil, coal and mines ministries... it would go to the Cabinet in the next 15 days," Chatterjee said. The Prime Minister said the government was committed to a strong public sector in many areas of the economy.
He said enterprises like Air India and BSNL "are receiving the due attention of the government." Both these companies are facing financial problems and strong competition from the private sector. He said that the government was conscious of the need to ensure the highest standards of corporate accountability in the public sector.
"India is one of the few countries which have implemented the mandatory code of corporate governance in public sector. We have encouraged our central PSUs to adopt a robust and transparent management system".
In the backdrop of rising commodity prices and scarce natural resources, multinationals like Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and ArcelorMittal are aggressively scouting for coal and other mineral assets around the globe mostly in Africa, the US and Australia.
State-owned Chinese firms have also been making strong bids for assets in crude and natural gas.